With Real Madrid winning earlier on Saturday, it was important for Barcelona to match Madrid's result against Getafe and stay level with their rivals. With it also being a Champions League midweek on the horizon, coach Luis Enrique would've been hoping to see the game off as quickly as possible.
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The team started in the best possible manner with Sergi Roberto making space on the left side. He found Neymar who, after a quick one-two with Luis Suárez, found Munir with a cross. The ball was just behind the youngster which meant he had to go for the difficult bicycle kick but despite making good contact, the effort went wide.
There was a subdue atmosphere around the ground, especially as there was large parts of the stand empty and this seemed to translate to the players. Both sides were struggling to create clear cut chances. Getafe were defending deep and Barcelona lacked quality in the final third. The team managed to get into Getafe's danger zones with relative ease but once there, they were slow and predictable and it ultimately came to nothing.
Neymar was dropping deeper and deeper to pick up the ball to try and create something but unfortunately this meant he wasn't available further up the field and the chances quickly died out. Suárez was struggling to have any real impact and the full backs both started high up the field meaning they weren't making the overlapping runs that would often create space.
With the full backs pushed up, this meant there was space to get at the Barça defence, in particular Dani Alves' right flank. When Getafe went forward, Alves was too slow in getting back which meant Gerard Piqué had to come across to defend. When the cross did come into the far post there was plenty of space in the Barça box and the player had time to take it down and have an effort on goal.
The first half was progressing slowly until the 35th minute when Barcelona did eventually get the opening goal. Despite lacking attacking quality, Barça seemed to flick a switch and created a great goal. Santiago Vergini gave the ball away and Neymar tricked his way down the left wing. He whipped a ball into Roberto who produced a gorgeous back heel flick which wouldn't have been out of place had Xavi done it and the ball found Suárez who placed it past the keeper at the near post to make it 1-0 to the visitors.
That was to be the only goal as Barcelona completed a less than stellar first half.
The second half started in much the same vain although the ball was in the net just after the restart. Munir, who desperately needs a goal having not scored in 27 games, controlled a chipped Sergio Busquets pass before slotting it into the bottom right corner of the goal. However, the linesman's flag had immediately gone up as soon as Munir got the ball and the goal was rightly ruled offside.
Despite the call, it wasn't long after that Barcelona did get their second. Getafe earned themselves a corner and elected to flood the six yard box in the hope of getting in Claudio Bravo's way. But quite the opposite happened as the keeper caught the ball before quickly looking to release Sergi Roberto down the right wing. The midfielder ran down the byline and spotted a signalling Neymar. Roberto looped a ball to the far post and Neymar volleyed it low and hard into the corner of the net. It was a good finish and another great assist from Roberto in this game.
After the goal, Barça fans were relived to see Andrés Iniesta making his first appearance since recovering from his injury. The captain's return to fitness eases the pressure on an already threadbare Barça midfield. Iniesta replaced Munir who had another disappointing performance and with Messi nearing a return to fitness, you expect he won't get many more chances to impress Enrique.
Barcelona were building and beginning to create chances more frequently. Neymar was looing bright, switching between the left and right wing looking to have an influence. When he picked the ball up in the centre of the field, he skilled his way through the Getafe defence before lifting the ball into the path of Jordi Alba. The full-back got caught in-between two minds and his attempted chip didn't have enough on it and was palmed away.
Sergi Roberto eventually left the field having had a great match which included setting up Barcelona's first two goals and being the main creator in midfield. After creating a few half chances, the game eventually ended 3-0 and Luis Enrique can be happy in putting an end to the long run without a clean sheet. The focus now switches to BATE on Wednesday.
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